EDINBURG — Police here responded to several reports of an armed individual carrying a shotgun and an American flag down University Drive near the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Monday afternoon.
Although many individuals who contacted law enforcement described the man as wearing a bulletproof vest, Arielle Benedict with Edinburg police said that wasn’t actually the case.
“It was actually an ammo carrying tactical vest,” she said.
Benedict described the situation as “extremely suspicious,” but said the individual was cooperative and said he wasn’t doing anything illegal.
“Basically he said he was exercising his Second Amendment rights,” she said.
According to Benedict, the individual claimed he was walking to a protest at Edinburg City Hall. There was no protest held there Monday, but there was a protest of police brutality and the death of George Floyd held there Saturday, a demonstration Edinburg Police Chief Cesar Torres described as peaceful.
Floyd’s death after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest has sparked protests and riots nationwide.
Benedict said despite being informed there was no ongoing protest Monday, the individual continued his walk to city hall while being monitored by police.
“We kept a really close eye on him,” she said.
Benedict said that the individual left without any problems after reaching city hall.
“He did mention he would be at any protest held there,” she said.
According to the Facebook page responsible for organizing Saturday’s protest, an additional protest is slated for Saturday.
“We’re confident that citizens can demonstrate peacefully,” Benedict said.